23 June, 2015
It’s the Guardian Voluntary Sector Network’s charity campaign of the month and it’s brilliant.
#TheHomelessPeriod was established by three interns at ad agency BBH. They want homeless shelters to be funded to give out free sanitary products. There’s money for condoms, but not for tampons and towels for women sleeping rough.
The campaign does all the things that we know make for success.
At its heart is a very simple message, presented as a short film on a pretty modest website. The text, too, is minimal. Every word works.
The argument isn’t padded out with statistics or long, emotive case studies. There’s no drama here; it’s not required. The initiative tells one woman’s story; you can’t help but connect with her.
For those wanting to delve deeper there’s a link to Homeless UK’s database of shelters and a blog profiling people’s actions, offering a sense of collective effort.
The organisers are up-front about what they are able to do. They’ve created a vehicle and it’s up to the rest of us to get on board. Sign the petition or donate.
So far over 100k people have done just that, by signing on Change.org, donating sanitary products to local shelters or crowdfunding for homeless projects.
What’s powerful is the campaign’s simplicity and clarity. The need is evident, the solution is clear, the call to action is obvious. It leaves you feeling like you just have to get involved.
It’s a very clever campaign. Next time you’re aiming for simple, clear and compelling, keep it in mind.
Hats off to its creators Josie Sheddon, Oliver Frost and Sara Bakhaty. And to BBH for giving them the time and space.